Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) ridiculed her conservative opponent John James for ignoring auto workers' needs this week. On Twitter Tuesday, she noted that while she was actually hearing employees' concerns, James was campaigning with Vice President Mike Pence, who, she reminded folks, "voted to bankrupt our auto-industry."
Thanks to everyone who joined us for shift change in Sterling Heights! While we were talking with auto workers about what matters most, @JohnJamesMI was campaigning w/ Mike Pence, who voted to bankrupt our auto-industry.— Debbie Stabenow (@stabenow) October 30, 2018
There’s so much on the line. Let’s get to work #misen pic.twitter.com/PhQ4QzJAxd
The federal government bailed out the struggling auto industry in 2009. Explaining his "no" vote, Pence said the auto industry should instead seek help in the private sector. Bankruptcy, he insisted the next year, would have been "better" for companies like GM and Chrysler. United Auto Workers reminded voters about the speech in campaign ads ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
John James, however, has deep ties to the auto industry that gave him grounds to easily debunk Stabenow's message. In his counter tweet, James reminded Stabenow that he's the president of a Detroit auto supplier with ties to the plant she visited this week.
I'm President of a Detroit auto supplier. I serve the plant you visited & created 100 jobs in an industry you have ZERO experience in. While you were making promises you won’t keep, I hope you were apologizing to the 40% of autoworkers you called deplorable! #MISen https://t.co/G59ESyS7cm— John James (@JohnJamesMI) October 30, 2018
James is capable of defending himself, and has the backing of President Trump. But, he still has a high hill to climb less than a week out from Election Day. Stabenow is holding on to a double-digit lead.